Sub-Par Sovereigns

Author: Jon Clarke - Bullion & Economics Editor

Published: 14 Sep 2020

Last Updated: 27 Dec 2022


We recently received delivery of 24 gold sovereigns off a customer which turned out to be of a lower quality than was first believed. Here are just a few of them.

16 Grade C Sovereigns - Reverse

Bullion & Grade C

As a professional gold dealer with over 50 years is in the business, we pride ourselves on offering the widest range on coins and bars as a way of giving our customers more choice so they can invest according to their needs. This maybe newly minted anniversary coins, mint-specific gold bars, or if needs be, something we have to order in specifically for a customer. We also have a section for those customers who are looking for the cheapest possible coins which we have designated as “Grade C”. These are coins which we would not sell as bullion due to damage or wear & tear but are still too good to be sold as scrap and therefore would be more suitable for mounting jewellery.

Grade C coins are offered at the lowest premiums (1-1.5%) and we always advise that due to the imperfections, we would offer a lower price to buy them back. We state clearly on our product pages and numerous blog articles that grade C coins are not ideal for investment and would recommend, for those interested in investment gold, to consider our “Best Value - Secondary Market” coins.

A Recent Example

The importance of this has become more apparent due to a potential customer offering to sell us 24 sovereign coins purchased from one of our competitors in Birmingham. These coins were sent to us by courier so we could examine them, and ALL were determined to be of Grade C quality. This was not what the customer wanted to hear as he was obviously hoping for a price closer to the spot price.

What we believe happened, is that the customer had paid bullion price and the dealer (who we find to be a repeat offender) has sent out poor quality coins.

We could understand that out of 24 coins, if one or two were of slightly lower quality, they MAY have slipped under the radar. For 24 coins to get by, then that is either ignorance or downright dishonest!! Either way, this company should not be in business!!

Bad Business

It’s sad to see that this particular company is not the only company where we have seen this problem. In recent weeks, we have seen a number of cases from jewellers, pawnbrokers and other seemingly reputable companies where sub-standard and even fake coins have been passed on to unwitting customers.

Our customer service team offered advice to this particular customer on what to look out for if he wanted to look through any of his other coins. Hopefully they are of better quality!!

What to Look Out For

We have some of the lowest premiums on the market so if there is a company that can beat our prices, we pay attention. In this instance, an inferior product has been sold which is not something we do. While paying the lowest possible price for gold is certainly an approach we would agree with, the type of gold you buy depends on your intentions. If you wish to invest, we would NOT recommend our “Grade C” coins but rather our best value secondary market. If you would like to purchase gold to mount jewellery then Grade C is the cheapest alternative. Regardless, you can be sure you know what you're getting from us.

In the meantime, you can see just some of the coins that we would class as Grade C. Some are more obvious than others, but marks, chips, dents discolouring etc. can all reduce the value of a sovereign. You can click on the images to see them close up.

8 Grade C Sovereigns - Obverse

8 Grade C Sovereigns - Reverse

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